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All aboard for a train line from Welshpool-Gobowen

Created on 02/07/2018 @ 09:42
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There are calls for a multi-million pound project that will make Welshpool more connected than ever, with support growing for the re-introduction of the train line between the town and Gobowen.

The Shropshire Star reported over the weekend that some community and county councillors want a study to be commissioned to bring back the line that was running until the 1960’s.

It would mean a direct route north for rail users who currently have to go through Shrewsbury. Such a route would provide a tremendous boost to the whole of Mid Wales, and Powys Councillor Elwyn Vaughan says it should be part of the Mid Wales growth deal, bringing benefits to the economy, education and health services. 

He told the newspaper: “My colleague Bryn Davies from Llansilin highlighted the idea, and there are a number of reasons why it would work. It would ease the pressure on the roads towards Oswestry and on to Wrexham.

“It would enable easy access for students to access the education facilities and university at Wrexham, and it would assist those that travel regularly to Gobowen hospital from Powys and provide easy access to the Wrexham Maelor hospital.”

The line ran from Gobowen to Newtown for many years as part of the Cambrian Railways mainline. It took in stations such as Llanymynech and Four Crosses, and at one point had a route to Llanfyllin. 

However, in 1963, the line was re-allocated to become part of the London Midland Region. In the Beeching review the Cambrian Railway mainline was decreed surplus to demands and scheduled for closure. 

In 1965, passenger services between Whitchurch, Oswestry and Welshpool and also the Llanfyllin branch, were withdrawn. Passenger services between Oswestry and Gobowen continued until 1966, with freight services continuing to run from Gobowen to Oswestry section until 1971.

Councillor Vaughan is calling on the government to look into the idea, similar to a study recently conducted on a line between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen.

He added: “The study should be done either by Welsh Government or as part of the mid Wales growth deal. 

“Welsh Government are already funding a similar study for the line between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen and we have seen other lines reopened recently in Scotland.”

Welshpool's connectivity has improved in recent years with the introduction of the hourly trains to and from Shrewsbury, and plans are going full steam ahead for the Montgomery canal to be connected to the rest of the British canal network.

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